15 December, 2008

final thoughts on Paris, France (for now)

  • How is it possible for a city so old to always be new? Walking through the streets is like writing a mind-map; Paris will never make sense. Within the périphérique, wander and wonder are one of the same.
  • This remains true, as well.

11 December, 2008

Is a Spiral a Fractal?

Because I don't think Paris ever ends.

Today I was at the Saint-Germain-des-Prés metro stop around lunch time. Lucie was late, so I ducked into a magical tobac. The barman was named Jean-Pierre and the gentleman to my left was the best. I never caught his name, but his breath was filled with sweet beer. He immediately struck conversation with me while trying to count on his fingers, with mesmorizing difficulty, how many beers he had drunk. I suggested infinity, which must be close to the French word because he laughed and said, "Oui." We kept talking while I drank my espresso.

And by talking I mean he was basically shouting and using wonderfully theatrical body gestures to describe the deepest secrets of his universe to me (I presume). He also kept shaking my hand and saying, "Merci beaucoup, monsieur." We must have shook hands twenty times in the fifteen minutes we knew each other. It didn't bother him at all that I didn't speak enough French to be any sort of conversation partner. In fact, he was having such a great time, I'm not even sure he noticed that I don't speak French.

After I finished my espresso I told him, "J'ai un rendezvous avec une jolie fille, monsieur*." Once he had thoroughly sifted through my accent, the man's face lit up. He paraded me around the bar as if I were his son and had just pitched a no hitter, or had just gotten home from fighting in some heroic war effort. He kissed each side of my face and gave me a hug before allowing me back into the world outside the exceptional orbit of Jean-Pierre's bar.

Later I was in San Francisco Book Company -- doing some shopping -- when I overheard the customer at the counter mention to the teller she was relocating back to Michigan. The teller asked if she was moving to Detroit, but she said no. Then I butted in and said, "Detroit? I heard they have a Robo-Cop there." No one even got that it was a joke, and unfortunately it sparked a twenty minute conversation about crime and policing that I had to listen to.

On the metro ride home I got excited while thinking about space exploration. I hope I live to see the day when they start making movies on the Moon, or on Mars. How strange of a film scene we've yet to see, and not even begun to imagine.

I want it to always be like this. It's only 5:50.

*Please pardon all of my grammatical mistakes, both in French and English. I'm trying my best, typically.

04 December, 2008

"2 Reason I'm Excited to LIVE in Portland, Oregon"

Last night while falling asleep it hit me that I won't be on winter break this Christmas; I'm going to be unemployed. This is a big first for me. Technically, I have no prospects. No job offers. No place to live. Nothing doing. Fortunately I'm an endless optimist, and all this translates to the world being my oyster. One thing I'm particularly looking forward to is my big move to Portland, Oregon coming up in January. It will mark the first time I've lived in a city where everyone speaks English. I like that. Nothing against the Parisians for speaking French, but its impossible to count the times I've wanted to strike up conversation with the interesting strangers surrounding me on the metro: What do you think of that book? Where did you get your shoes? Are you interested in drinking wine? Do you want to share my i-pod with me for the rest of this ride? Do you like outer space? Language barriers! I could have been friends with so many people. . . But, in Portland I can ask these sorts of questions, literally, because I know how to speak English and so will everyone else.

To get myself excited I started a list in my notebook called "Two Reasons I'm excited to Live in Portland, Oregon." But when I wrote it out, I originally wrote "Move to" rather than "Live in." It just didn't work. To talk about moving somewhere made me feel like a statue, like I was going to be uprooted from Paris and set up in a in a museum rather than a city. Fuck no! I'm going to live there. I'm going to be fluid. I'm going to have ideas, make friends, put stuff on! Find nooks, and discover crannies!

Earlier this fall I watched Woody Allen's Hannah and her Sisters, and it affected me a great deal. On the metro ride home from the Filmotheque I wrote this into my notebook: "I'm really starting to feel like my life is something. Not because I'm "doing" things, but because I exist. Everything is icing. I get to be part of all this." I am assuming by this, I meant the waltz; life moving by means of comings and goings, hellos and goodbyes, old friends and new friends, projects and downtime. I just finished my final lecture of the semester, and I feel fantastic. I've embarked on a new feature length screenplay, and I've never had so much love for a project. It takes place in outer space, and confronts intimacy with the infinite.

The other night my friend Maggie brought me to an invitation-only party for the unveiling of the new limited edition Coca-Cola Light bottle. It was at the designer's studio, and was not only ultra-chic, but also way swank and super mod. Imagine the party from I'm Not There during Cate Blanchett's portion of the film, take away the excessive drug use, but keep the white space, and that's the soiree. I credit the event as my first real-life adult party, and Maggie and I definitely felt as though we were at the kid's table. Setting out to prove our rookie status for everyone, Maggs and I obliviously found our way into the VIP room to enjoy our free champange. To seasoned adult-party goers, a secluded room with overstuffed leather sofas and diamond encrusted Coca-Cola bottles would probably be enough to signify that this was not a room for normals, but we were just bushy-tailed kids trying our best! Of course we sat down and partied for a while. (Incidentally, while sitting on these sofas we hatched our plans for the rest the evening post-party, which mostly involved eating candy bars.) Eventually the actual VIPs showed up, resulting in an awkward moment where social status, etc, had to be explained. After cracking some wise that fell on deaf ears, we graciously left and headed again for the free champagne bar.

We giggled, and we didn't stop giggling for some time.

Being an adult is the best.